fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "the consignment" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "consignment " (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "million us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Stephen Gianino" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:35:22 +0200
Subject: [SPAM 4: KAS RES] Your Compensation
From; Stephen Gianino,
630066 Hatton Garden,
London ECIN 8LE.
My name is Stephen Gianino; I work with the HM Treasury UK, and I have seen that several times people has tried to divert your funds into their own personal accounts I mean those that you call your partners. Now I am writing to you in respect of the amount which I have been able to send to you through the United Nations Diplomat who has arrived in Africa, now I want you to know that the diplomat would deliver the funds which I have packaged as a diplomatic compensation to you and the amount in the consignment is $6,000.000.00 (Six Million US Dollars).
To this end, I did not disclose the contents to the diplomat that the box contains money but I told him that it is your compensation from the Financial Secretary and from our affiliate, I want you to know that these funds would help with your financial status as I have seen in records that you have spent a lot trying to receive these funds and I am not demanding so much from you but only 40% them.
I would like you to get back to me so that I can give you the contact details of the diplomat who arrived in Africa two days ago and has been waiting to get your details so that he can proceed with the delivery on your doorstep.